Battleground Karnataka: 'When One Attempts Vote Consolidation, It Is Never One-Sided,' Says Amit Shah On Bajrang Dal Row
Home Minister Amit Shah, in an interview with India Today, said the Congress party's electoral mathematics was lacking in Karnataka after they presented the possibility of banning Bajrang Dal in their election manifesto.
To the journalist's question of whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was invoking Bajrang Bali at the eleventh hour for success on the electoral battleground of Karnataka, Shah said, "In this case, it is the opposite. We have not remembered (Bajrang Bali), the Congress has."
"If the Congress in its manifesto had not raised this issue that is insulting of Bajrang Bali, then would it have been an issue?" Shah asked.
"They tried for vote consolidation via appeasement, but when one attempts vote consolidation in this way, the consolidation is not one-sided. Maybe this wasn't part of the Congress' (electoral) mathematics," Shah said, adding, "Now, the issue is out of their (Congress') hands."
The Congress on 2 May released its manifesto for the Karnataka assembly election due to be held on 10 May.
In its manifesto, the Congress equated the banned Islamist extremist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) with the Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and stated that it will ban such organisations that promote "enmity or hatred, whether among majority or minority communities."
Since then, the issue has taken centre stage in Karnataka, with the BJP chanting the Hanuman Chalisa across the state in response.
K S Eshwarappa, a senior BJP leader in the state, even burnt a copy of the Congress' election manifesto on 4 May and attacked the party for its proposal to ban Bajrang Dal if it came to power in Karnataka.
Shah believes, as revealed to India Today, that the Karnataka electorate will vote decisively for the BJP and for Narendra Modi in the election.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.